What happens when the Miles of Smiles team visits your school?

Approximately one month before the Miles of Smiles-Laredo Program arrives at your school, consent forms will be divided by teacher and delivered to the school nurse to distribute to children in each classroom. The parent or guardian should complete the consent form and return it to school as soon as possible. For a child to be seen by the dentist, the parent or guardian must have completed the entire form, answered “YES”, and signed the consent form. We ask that the consent forms (both YES and NO) be collected and returned by the school nurse.

The day before the MOS Program begins services, the dental team will set up portable dental equipment in the school. All portable dental equipment is transported using a large van that will require parking and access to a loading area. MOS needs an empty room or space adequate to accommodate the portable dental equipment and is close to a water source.  Wireless internet services are used for our screening system.  

Children in kindergarten, first, second, and third grades will receive a limited oral evaluation (dental screening) and a fluoride varnish application. Results of the dental screening are noted on the Student Report Form and sent home with the child. Summary information is shared with the school after the Program leaves. The Miles of Smiles-Laredo Program provides preventive dental services to children at absolutely no cost to the children, parents, insurance, or schools.

Dental screenings are conducted using the Basic Screening Survey (BSS), a national evidence-based protocol developed by the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD). Using these guidelines, licensed dentists screen children for the presence of decay and other oral health issues and check to see if the back (permanent molar) teeth are viable for dental sealants in second grade children. The dental screening in no way replaces a regular dental visit and the Miles of Smiles-Laredo program recommends that the child follows-up with their regular dentist for a comprehensive exam. You can find detailed information on dental screenings, fluoride varnish, and oral health promotion on our For Parents page.

For more information on the Basic Screening Survey, visit the ASTDD website.